Body building is often associated with men. When it comes to keeping fit, women tend to have different body shape desires. These desires influence how often they workout and achieve their goal. I caught up with Evelyn Okinyi Owala, a renowned health and fitness guru. She embarked on a life long journey in the fitness industry out of a desire to look different and achieve her dream body which she only knew how it looks likes but had no idea on how to achieve it. Evelyn is a proprietor of Eveal Health and Fitness. She was also was crowned as the Ms Kenya Figure 2016 and the current 1st Runners up Figure 2017.
• About 4 years ago you ventured in this industry which is perceived as a male dominated area, what kept you going?
Well, it was just another job for me, was not keen on gender, but now I see that we are few. It didn’t really strike me as something to think about.
• In your previous life you were a banker. Actually, you are a trained teacher. Tell us how was the transition from that to what you are doing. Any challenges along the way?
Well, I totally appreciate the lessons learnt in the corporate environment, in teaching and all the other careers that I have walked through. My biggest challenge was knowing when the time is right to do my own business and identifying the business. Having been brought up in Kenya, the ideal way is go to school, get a degree then have a blue collar job, end of story! But trying to explain to my parents what I was leaving my job as an assistant manager to do personal training services was not going to be easy. Am glad they now understand…. Or have come to appreciate.
• What's your typical workout routine?
I train my legs 2-3 times a week, and upper body twice a week with one other day for abdominals and cardio
• Tell us about one thing that you never skip in your workout.
Warmups to avoid injuries
• What workouts do you enjoy?
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Training legs. I believe a lady needs good wheels.
• In a society where body shaming happens so frequent, most women feel insecure about their bodies. What is your philosophy behind women focusing more on their self-love and working to get their best body rather than focusing so much on what we might “think” is the perfect body?
Before you rock the body, you need to be confident to look beautiful. If you like the way you look, rock it girl! We all don’t want skinny, just try stay healthy
• Do you feel pressure to be in perfect shape?
Well, I love looking sculpted, so I got quite a bit of self-motivation.
• How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
Well, I have seen my medical trips reduce drastically since I committed to staying fit and healthy. If you think staying fit is expensive, try paying serious medical bills.
• Imagine a client is discouraged during a training session. How do you keep that person motivated?
Remind them why they started the journey.
Show them their progress towards their goal.
• What advice do women always ask you for? And what do you tell?
They want to tone without getting muscle. Well toning is actually getting some muscle. It doesn’t happen overnight. Get to your desired preference and ask your coach to help you maintain.
• What's the biggest mistake that fitness newbies make?
Checking their progress through the scale almost on a daily basis instead of using a tape measure. Plus, give it time.
• What advice do you have for those intending to start the journey of physical wellness?
Enjoy the process, the results will follow.